I've been doing some research into travel to Tokyo for Ozzfest Japan in November, and have been surprised by disparity in pricing for Beijing to Tokyo flights.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) offered up RMB 2,650 roundtrip, including tax, departing November 19 and returning November 23. The flight schedule is convenient (departing at not quite 4pm and arriving at 8pm in Tokyo) and arrival is at Haneda, much closer to Tokyo's city center than Narita.
This is in stark contrast to Air China, which offers the same itinerary, but for about RMB 4,800. As we've seen before, advance purchase ticket prices can very widely, but again we ask, why the huge gap? Both are members of Star Alliance. Of course, ANA is based in Japan and may therefore be more inclined to promote fares to Japan, and all of this could change well before the date.
I tried the Japan Airlines site, but I found it rather difficult to get a price rather than only a schedule, so I gave up. I did not buy a ticket at this point but will keep an eye on it.
One other thing learned recently from purchasing tickets early: airlines seem more forgiving on changes. I changed a Beijing to Singapore ticket scheduled on Cathay Pacific Airlines from April to July dates. It cost me RMB 5. Awesome.
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